When Samuel Umtiti arrived at Barcelona in 2016, he was seen as the heir to Carles Puyol in centre-back and Gerard Piqué’s long-term Spouse.
The €25million commission paid to prise him from Lyon was a deal, even at the pre-Neymar into Paris Saint-Germain world. The Frenchman was a dominant centre-back and more than capable at full-back.
At the moment, it was a statement signing. The then-22-year-old topped the wishlist at each top European club. He immediately made himself a part of the first-team in Camp Nou, appearing in over 40 matches throughout his debut campaign in Spain.
He appeared at a similar number of games during his second season (2017/18) and the future World Cup winner appeared right at home in the Barcelona jersey. However, since the beginning of this 2018/19 campaign, Umtiti has made only 31 appearances in all competitions for Barça.
Sport assert Manchester United are thinking about making a serious effort to bring the 26-year-old to Old Trafford.
A fee thought to be in the area of €50million will be sufficient to secure his services although manager Quique Setién is thought to be a fan of Umtiti. Los Culés must raise funds so as to revamp their squad as well as their No.23 could be forfeited.
Not long ago, a hyperlink to Umtiti would be cause for delight. But not so much today. For starters, his injury record can not be ignored. Based on Transfermarkt, the OL academy graduate has missed 39 matches since the beginning of the last year through injury.
He is currently the club captain. It is highly unlikely he’d change to the right to adapt Umtiti.
Having said that, those at Old Trafford will have a strategy in place if they are intent on signing Umtiti. If he’s ready to rediscover his form, he would be a wise signing.
Umtiti is among the finest ball-playing centre-backs in Europe. Over the last two seasons, he has completed 94 percent of the 71 passes he is trying (per 90). He does not dither when in possession, possibly, taking only 81 touches. It means 88 percent of his touches are really good. His pass precision is much more impressive when you think about over a third move forward.
He is something of a risk-taker, whilst also managing to give off the impression he’s anything but. It’s the ideal mix for a centre-back.
He can also shield, which is not a given with a few players that occupy defensive births nowadays. Defensively, he’s a maverick but supervisors persist with him because of how good he is at with an impact on event going forward.
Umtiti, however, is not carried by his on-ball ability. As the picture above shows, he is fairly dominant in the air, winning more than 60 percent of his duels. He’s also quite proficient when it comes to floor duels also, winning 65 percent.
Typically, he is regaining possession 6.43 times per 90 with the vast majority of regains coming from the defensive third.
There’s a lot there to work with. And in relation to a profile, Umtiti ticks lots of the boxes which teams need from a centre-back. If United can find a deal on his injury problems, the’s among the best defenders in Europe.
Someone of his skill and quality available for under £50million is unheard of. Even if he is not a perfect match, United should jump at the opportunity to add him to their squad.